picture of Curlee Gurlee, HR with dove

HR King's Curlee Gurlee

Curlee discovers dove!

Article and photos by Pam Kadlec
October, 1996

October. Opening day of dove hunting. Winds are blowing 20 to 30 mph. The dove are flying at least 100 mph and I couldn't seem to make the gun swing smoothly. I had just had the stock cut down on my Browning Light 12 gauge and it fit perfectly, but I kept on following the birds until I pulled the trigger, then stopped. Of course I shot behind every bird. I knew what I was doing wrong, but couldn't seem to make myself follow through. Curlee was thoroughly wired by the time I'd missed five in a row. She kept looking at me and whining as if to say, "Come on, hit something!" Curlee in dove field

One pair came through, flying against the wind and they seemed to be flying in place. I even missed them. Reminded me of ring-necked ducks seemingly at a standstill coming into the decoys (which I often missed as well.)
Kris with CurleeWe walked back to where Kris, my son, was shooting and waited for him to down a bird. It didn't take long, since Kris has been a great shot ever since he picked up a shotgun. He always out-shoots his ma. The bird fell but Curlee didn't see it drop. I sent her out with a 'dead bird' command to find it. She hunted the area and couldn't seem to come up with it. I walked to the area of the fall and found the bird. I called Curlee in and let her find the dove. Since this was her first dove she was looking for something much larger, like a duck. "Is this what you want, ma?" she seemed to ask. "Good girl," I said, "fetch it up." I should have known to show her a bird before sending her to let her know what game we were hunting.

After that first bird, Curlee knew what we were after and found several for Kris and other hunters in the heavily covered corn field. I even managed to make a great passing shot. Will wonders never cease!

I spent the time between birds to pull some really nasty briars out of Curlee's coat. I'm familiar with sand spurs and fox tails, but these were big, football shaped stickers that imbedded into her ears, legs and sides. I would seriously consider clipping her if we do a lot of upland game hunting. I hate to do that to her beautiful curly coat but she was miserable trying to pull briars out of her hair with her teeth.

All in all, it was a good day for Curlee and a humbling one for me! She got to find and retrieve about 20 birds and impressed the heck out of the other hunters. I enjoyed the day and when I finally made a decent shot, all was right with the world. Being the only woman in the field didn't make things any easier. Being a lousy shot was downright embarrassing. My shotgun felt great with the shortened stock, I just need to get out and shoot more often. Maybe I'll head on out to that Sporting Clays range down the road.....

Later ya'll. Hope your hunting season was grand. Take your Boykins out whenever you get the chance. They are great little duck, dove, pheasant, quail, turkey, deer trailers, you name it, they can do it! (Though, I don't think Curlee will think too much of those clay pigeons!)

Pam's Boykin Home Page
History of the Boykin Spaniel
Boykin Spaniel Standard

page design by Pamela O. Kadlec
copyright 1996 Web Designs by P.K.
Last Updated: 1/29/99